Family: Fire victim accidentally poured gasoline in a kerosene heater

Source: Lexington County Fire Services
Source: Lexington County Fire Services
Source: Lexington County Fire Services
Source: Lexington County Fire Services

PELION, SC (WIS) - A 23-year-old Pelion man who is on leave for the holidays was sent to the Augusta Burn Center Sunday night when he was trapped inside his burning home.

Family members say the fire started when the victim poured what he thought was kerosene into a home heater. The heater exploded, seriously injuring him and burning down the family home.

Fire crews were called around 6:15pm Sunday to a house Bub Shumpert Road that was fully engulfed in fire. The victim was still inside the house, and was taken to the Augusta Burn Center with significant burns.

Bishop Jafari Callaham says his son is recovering from second- and third-degree burns after the fire, which left their home gutted. "He was burned on his arms, hands, across his stomach, his legs and his hips," described Callaham.

"My kids and me, we built this house from the ground," said Callaham. "I'd rather have my kids then to have the house."

Windows were blown out and the roof collapsed during the explosion neighbors said lit up the night sky, and could be heard blocks away. "It sounded like firecrackers going off," said Thomas Peel. "They weren't loud, but I could hear it about a half a mile away where I live."

Callaham said landscapers working in the yard accidentally filled their kerosene containers with gasoline.

It took over 25 firefighters from seven fire stations to get the fire under control. No firefighters were hurt.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Lexington County Fire Service and the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

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